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Connecting the Global Community: Teleconference Interpretation Support in the Six UN Languages + Portuguese

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ICANN's Language Services Team has reached one more milestone: we now provide teleconference interpretation support in the six official United Nations (UN) languages and Portuguese. This recent accomplishment is in line with ICANN's Public Responsibility Framework and, more importantly, translates into more community members being able to connect, communicate and interact in a truly multistakeholder and inclusive fashion.

The Language Services Department began providing teleconference interpretation support at the community's request in late 2011. At the time, support was provided in Spanish and French. A lot has happened in the global Internet ecosystem since then, with our community's work and initiatives expanding accordingly. It was only natural that, in line with ICANN's internationalization, and following the creation of our Language Services Team, teleconference interpretation support would be provided in the six official UN languages and Portuguese.

Accomplishing this goal entailed installing and testing specific equipment, training interpreters (both ICANN Language Experts and trusted contractors), and deploying the service. Interpretation into Portuguese [ZIP, 9.8 MB] and Spanish [ZIP, 10.0 MB] was provided on a Business Community Webinar Call [ZIP, 9.7 MB] hosted by Christopher Mondini prior to NETmundial; Spanish, French, Russian and Arabic language interpretation support was provided on the GAC Agenda Setting Calls in preparation for ICANN 50; and Spanish, French and Russian language interpretation support was provided on the ALAC Monthly Call in May. In addition all Pre-ATLAS II Webinar Calls received interpretation support in Spanish and French.

As ICANN's Spanish Language Expert and Head Interpreter, I am indeed grateful for having helped my Department accomplish this significant goal. By providing multilingual teleconference interpretation support to the ICANN community, we not only continue enhancing our language services – we help the community work for our one Internet and for the public benefit.


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    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."